Chiropractic Care and Spinal Discs, Part 2

I wanted to give you some more understanding about your spinal discs. As people age, they often begin to have issues with these discs so it’s good to understand what can happen to them. 

When you have a disc that has not suffered any injury, it is kind of a rounded oval shape. There’s a network of fibers laid out to give the disc a lot of strength. The core is a gelatinous, watery substance. And the outer fibers hold the disc in place.

What Happens when a Disc is Damaged?

Now, when a disc begins to develop problems, you can progress into what is called a bulging disc. When the disc bulges, it’s starting to lose its proper shape. The gelatinous inner part, the nucleus, is starting to push out to one side. That bulge applies pressure on other parts of your anatomy. 

The bulge that I’m talking about is like a tire that has lost too much air pressure. The sides of that tire bulge out wider than the rim itself. A bulging disc resembles the bulge in that tire. 

The disc can also develop a herniation. When this happens, the nucleus, the jelly-like inner part, can get pushed out or leak through cracks in the disc that have been caused by injuries or aging. This problem may be called a herniated disc, slipped disc or ruptured disc.

Both a bulging disc and a herniated disc can cause problems for you. The biggest problem is that they can pinch nerves as these nerves exit the spine. The discs can also press on the spinal cord itself.

Causes of Disc Injury

There are several factors that incline these discs toward injury, including:

  • Aging
  • Poor spinal alignment
  • A bad diet that includes too many poor-quality foods
  • Injuries to the spine or discs

To improve disc health, you can improve your diet by eating fresher, less processed and more nutritious foods. Supplements like glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfates can improve the health of your discs.

Aging

When we’re looking at a bulging or herniated disc, we’re often looking at degenerative disc disease. But in 1988, Dr. Harry Farfan, a medical doctor, wrote, “Aging and degenerative (arthritic) changes are not synonymous.” So, even if you are aging, it’s not necessarily true that you have to develop degenerative or arthritic changes. There are ways you can make your discs healthier and more functional.

Poor Spinal Alignment

The next cause of disc damage is poor spinal alignment. Here’s another helpful quote from a medical professional, J.T. Freeman, excerpted from the Journal of the American Medical Association, 1957:

“Deviations in the body’s center of gravity caused poor posture, which resulted in intestinal problems, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, osteoporosis, hip and foot deformities, poor health, decreased quality of life and a shortened life span.”

You see people walking around with their heads forward. Their bodies tilt to the right or tilt to the left; they just don’t walk very well. Those people have deviations in their body’s center of gravity. As described in the quote above, these deviations cause a whole list of unpleasant problems. 

As you can see, poor posture and deviations of the body’s center of gravity can cause really serious effects. Now, these deviations are really caused by spinal misalignments. Again, this traces back to a bad diet. So what can you do? You eat better foods and take nutritional supplements.

Injuries

Injuries can result unexpectedly when people pick up objects incorrectly or sit too long, etc. These activities lead to poor spinal alignment. That is a problem that can be solved with chiropractic adjustments.

Poor Posture

Your head weighs roughly 10 pounds, about the same as a bowling ball. Dr. Mehmed Kapandji wrote, “For every inch of forward head posture, it can increase the weight of the head on the spine by an additional 10 pounds.” 

When a person is walking around with their head forward one, two or three inches, this poor posture increases the weight of their head on their spines by as much as 10, 20 or 30 pounds. 

Therefore, people with forward-head posture are placing a lot of strain on their shoulders and upper backs. They’ll begin to develop a hump in their upper back that is a sign that the body is trying to compensate. 

If these people even try to stand up into a better posture, they can’t because they are suffering from poor spinal alignment. In effect, bad posture is really caused by poor spinal alignment. 

Preserve Your Discs, Preserve Your Health

There are quite a few discs in your spine. You have seven neck vertebrae, 12 mid-back vertebrae and five lower-back vertebrae. Each vertebra has a disc between it and the next vertebra. 

There’s really a lot that can happen with your spine. To really keep it in good alignment, you need chiropractic adjustments. You can call my office any time to schedule an appointment at  314-648-2276

If you have questions about your health or chiropractic care, email us at info@drdusty.com. We’re looking forward to helping you through chiropractic adjustments and natural health care.

By Dustan Mattingly, February 10, 2021
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